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August 22, 2007

Liveblogging The CBS Early Show Segment On 'Hip, Hands-On Dads'

A little while back, CBS's Early Show called, looking for one of the "new breed of dads" they could put on TV. He had to be:

  • hip
  • hands-on
  • in the NY Metro area, and
  • willing to let CBS show his kid

    Also, when the segment producer asks if the "Mr Mom" concept is outdated, he had to be able to keep his cool and not pick a 10-minute argument that began:

    DAD: "You know, the only people I've ever heard reference Mr Mom are reporters. Or people who complain about a media story that hangs on an irrelevant, slapstick stereotype."

    PRODUCER: "Well, I think you're right, it's a stereotype that's not relevant any more and we want to--"

    DAD: "But the only people who keep bringing it up are reporters and media. Ever. No one has mentioned it--ever--except in reference to a story on TV or in the media somewhere."

    PRODUCER: "Well, I think it's an outdated stereotype that people--"

    DAD: "But if it's irrelevant, why keep bringing it up? Do you ask every African American you interview if they think Little Black Sambo's outdated? No. For guys who become dads these days, Michael Keaton isn't Mr Mom; he's the guy who ruined Batman."

    EXASPERATED PRODUCER LOOKING FOR AN OUT: "So if someone brings up the tired Mr Mom stereotype, dads these days get irritated by that?"

    I mellowed a bit, and the rest of the conversation was pleasant enough. But of course, I felt terrible afterwards. Everyone knows the guy who ruined Batman was Joel Schumacher.

    So I emailed with a peace pipe and some link suggestions. Kudos to Freelance Dad, aka Gary Drevitch for being GGG enough to get himself, his blog, and his, adorable, well-behaved kids on TV.

    I planned to liveblog the segment this morning, but I was barely able to snap photos in time. Until the piece appears online, here's an admittedly incomplete reconstruction:


    810: Holy crap, they actually started with Mr Mom. Also, HispaExpo??

    0810: Gary works at home, mostly by typing very quietly, I hope. Hasn't ceded the entire home office [fight the good fight, dude!]

    Not pictured here: nice screenshot of Freelance Dad [what, no URL in the captions?]. Also, bright toys arranged with suspiciously artful soft-focus in background of talking headshot.


    0811: Chris, aka the Diaper Dude. Something about making a bag he wanted to use himself.

    Not Pictured Here: Lots of product closeups, not a lot of full-body modeling. Confusingly artful diapers-eye-view shot from inside the bag. The Dude's sweet-looking warehouse space. Chris not looking stoned.


    0811: Hello, whose bag is this? Why, it's Toland Grinnell, Conde Nast's favorite male artist [we've all blocked Plum Sykes' unfortunate Damien Loeb phase from our minds, Toland!] Toland makes bags-as-art, so diaper bags are a natural extension. Something about "this bag's all about you, too." Hmm.


    0812 More Toland. Something about being a dad. [who knew? mazel tov!] The bags are called Mr. B. [Turns out they launched in May, are now available at Giggle. Got profiled in Conde Nast Portfolio...]

    Not Pictured Here: more Toland product shots, one that looks like a bait bag. [note to self: hire Toland's publicist.]


    0812: Why, it's a strollerporn shot of Giggle. Hip, Hands-on Dads do love the gear! Quinny's are in stock, I see. That redesigned seat for the Buzz is not growing on me. 4-wheeled Zapp in stock, though. Also, no all-silver Breezy Canopies.

    Not Pictured Here: the enthusiastic CEO of Giggle. Have they launched any hot, new diaper bag lines for dads lately, I wonder? [Note to self: maybe it's Giggle's publicist.]


    0813: throw back to studio. "Women are smart" because they buy these dadthings in order to entice their lazyass husbands to change a diaper for once. Something about "we're bringing them around!" with "we" meaning "women." Also, things have changed in "25 years." All this talkin' 'bout "My Generation" turns out to be a Gen XY'ers explaining themselves to Baby Boomers. Kudos to The CBS Early Show for lasering in on the grandparent market.

    UP NEXT: Did you know those email attachments actually are the pictures?

    actual update: The segment's up at CBS [with non-functioning url's?] Rebel Dad has some choice commentary on it. Also, Toland and Mr. B got profiled in the Sept. issue of Conde Nast's Cookie Magazine? [note to self entrepreneurs: forget the publicist, marry an editor at Conde Nast.]

    posted August 22, 2007 8:20 AM | add to del.icio.us | digg this

  • comments

    Thank goodness the segment redeemed itself by explaining that good dads=happy kids and not $110 diaper bags. Still, they did sorta focus on the material side.

    Dude, there are plenty of $9 Target backpacks that aren't pink and frilly.

    [oh yeah, I forgot that. "redeemed itself" is a bit generous, though. -ed.]

    posted by: bob at August 22, 2007 11:22 AM

    I remember (because it was just 3 months ago) when I went AHD. I made some comment about going Mr. Mom, and some of my readers were quick to set me straight.

    Granted, I haven't seen that movie in 10, maybe 20 years. When did it come out? Still, I quote "240, 241, whatever it takes," whenever I'm doing some sort of home repair.

    I also never thought Keaton ruined Batman. I thought he ruined Bruce Wayne.

    posted by: whit at August 22, 2007 11:28 AM

    Are you serious, did they end the segment implying that WOMEN came up with this great idea to entice men into being good fathers by seducing them with gear?

    When are we going to start giving men - and boys - credit for their unique qualities again?!? So frustrating.

    [do our credit, when excessively praised and thanked and rewarded for it with sex, we do take out a mean bag of trash. -ed.]

    posted by: Donna at August 22, 2007 11:50 AM

    DT - Thanks for the kudos. Who knew someone was live-blogging the segment?

    The kids are adorable, I can confirm that. As for well-behaved? I'd maybe just say they were subdued; they had just been released from day camp when we filmed them. . .

    Update: If anyone's interested, CBS News has now posted the full segment online. You can access it via freelancedad.com

    Best - Gary (FreelanceDad)

    [well-behaved, well-edited, either way, congrats. -ed.]

    posted by: freelancedad at August 22, 2007 11:59 AM

    Heh. Check out RebelDad's response to the piece--actually he didn't see the piece, but there's some pretty annoying text up on CBS News' site. :) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/08/16/earlyshow/living/resources/main3173770.shtml

    posted by: daddy in a strange land at August 22, 2007 12:17 PM

    What can you expect from the news poodles at The CBS Early Show? It aint The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

    posted by: daddy drivel at August 22, 2007 5:55 PM

    Vacuous is the word that comes to mind. At least, they left the impression that involved dads are not some rare leftover hybrid of the sensitive new age guy, but actually rather common in most cities.
    I have to add DT you have got to be one of the best alternative journalists covering any beat.

    posted by: Working Dad at August 23, 2007 2:06 AM
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